Wednesday, December 29, 2010

SharePoint 2010 Search Configuring for Scale

This is the third part in my series on SharePoint 2010 Search Architecture.

SharePoint 2010 Search Scaling Configuration

Now if you have been reading this far you may be think this is really hard to configure. Well it is actually very simple. I am going to skip the step of setting up the SharePoint Search Application instance. I am going to give you a quick introduction to the screens you need to know about to scale SharePoint 2010 Search.

Note the screenshots because are just off my single server development box, so I cannot show you the nice screenshots with different server names.

Search Application Topology Screen

This is a screenshot of the Search Application Topology in Central Admin. Here you can see:

  • The Admin Component and what machine it is configured to run on.
  • Crawl Components – in this case I only have one and the machine that is configured to run on. Notice the name of the crawl database is shown so you can quickly see which Crawl Component maps to which crawl database.
  • Databases – lists all of the search databases associated to this Search Service Application instance.
  • Index Partition – Shows the single index that has been created and the query component for that partition.
  • You will notice there is a Modify button. Pressing that button will allow us to make changes.


Search Modification Screen

This screen shows the same information as above but there are a few differences


  • There is a New button in the top left had corner. This will allow us to create new crawl databases, crawl components, query components/index partitions, index partition mirrors and property databases.
  • Note there is an Apply Topology Changes button in the bottom right which allows us to make all of our changes at one time.


New Crawl Component

On this screen you basically just select the server on the farm where you want to install the crawl component. Then you need to select the crawl database for the crawler component; that is it.

Remember you can have multiple crawler components installed on the same machine. It would not make much sense to have two crawler components on the same machine that I using the crawler database.


Reference -

New Query Component

This is where you create new query components. Remember when you create a new query component; a new index partition is created. The SharePoint Search Service will have the responsibility to ensure that each index partition has an even distribution of items.

Here you select what server it will be installed on and you select the property database that will be used. The location of the index file is important; it needs to be in a location that is biggest enough to handle the index.


Reference -

New Query Component / Index Partition Mirror

To create a mirror, back on the Modify Topology screen, if you hover your mouse over the Query Component link, a dropdown will come up saying “Add Mirror”.


This will allow you to pick a server for where you would like to create a mirror. Remember there is now real point in creating a mirror for an index partition on the same server where the partition resides. The same sort of screen will come up as the as when adding a new query component. The checkbox at the bottom “Set this query component as failover-only” is important. If this is checked, the mirror will only be redundant. If not checked, the mirror will be used as part of the query process.

Reference -

New Crawl Database

This is the screen where you create a new crawl database. Here you simply just fill out the basics, not much to it.

One example of why you may need a second is to support dedicated search resources to specific content sources. If you want to do that, you have to make sure to check the checkbox below. If you do not, the new crawl database will simply be used as a new crawl database along with other existing ones you have. After you check the box below, you will need to apply the changes then perform some steps like creating a new content source and host destination rules which will map content sources to crawl databases.


Reference – Crawl Database -

Reference – Host Destination Rule -

New Property Database

Finally there is an option to create new property databases; nothing special about this. If you were to do this, you may have to go back and reconfigure you existing query components to use this new property database. That will in turn re-create your index partitions underneath the hood and as well require you to create new index partition mirrors. All in all, not a big deal, just a few extra steps.


Reference -

Series References:

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